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Sunday, Jul. 22, 2018
Rank takes Idylwylde title for second time in three years
by Randy Pascal

Already one of the top contenders at the Idylwylde Invitational, Elmira native Kyle Rank is almost impossible to stop, once he gets in a groove.

That was evident at several points over the course of the weekend, including late Sunday afternoon, as Rank won the 10th, 11th and 12th holes, finishing off Justin Fluit a short while later (5 & 3), en route to his second triumph at the Idylwylde in the past three years.

Given that he also appeared in the final in 2013, and was a quarter-finalist in both 2015 and 2012, safe to say that Rank's reputation is well-established. Along the way to his latest victory, the former AHLer eliminated a pair of Sudbury up and coming golfers, besting Evan MacLean 5 & 4 in the quarter-finals, before sending Ward Kyle to the sidelines, 4 & 2 in the semis.

"I learned a lot about match play this weekend," said Kyle, the Lockerby Composite graduate who is enrolled at the IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton (Florida) in September.

"It's a completely different event. I realized that I made a lot of mistakes out there, and definitely won't do it again." That said, it would be hard to classify the tournament as anything but a success for Kyle, who shot the third lowest score on Friday, carding a 74.

From there, he knocked off both Eric Edelman and Vince Palladino by identical scores of 5 & 3, before meeting his match in Rank. "Over the last couple of matches, I tried to just play the course, rather than the player," said Kyle.

"But once he got up a few on me, I had to make a couple of aggressive plays to try and get back into it." In the end, the 18 year-old is more than happy to chalk this up to experience.

"I played a couple of good rounds, a couple of bad rounds," said Kyle. "Overall, it was just really mentally tiring." The first flight proved to be almost as stacked with talent as the championship sixteen, with two-time tournament champion Ryan Hagger prevailing over long-time friend Jay Jewett in the final.

Brad Greenside knocked off Tristan Renaud in taking the second flight, while third flight honours went to Marc Disano, getting the better of Jason Picco.

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